By Gary Hotze
In the age of smartphones, everyone is an amateur photographer. Increasingly, everyday people are photo-cataloging their lives across social media (Hello, Facebook and Instagram), as well as photo-sharing platforms (Hello, SmugMug and Flickr). Families are a huge part of this trend. Births, weddings and vacations are big events that beg to be shared. Who doesn’t want to show off their fabulous tan while vacationing in the Caribbean? Or their newest bundle of joy?
But where do Grandma or Aunt Vickie go to see those fabulous tans? Or new photos of Baby Laura Claire? They’re certainly not going to download an app or remember a long-winded Flickr URL.
That’s where amateur photographers are following in the footsteps of forward-thinking photography pros: they’re going not-com.
Family shutterbugs are choosing to house their digital photo albums on websites bearing domain names that are photo-centric -- with ending such as ‘dot-photos’ (.photos), ‘dot-pictures’ (.pictures) and ‘dot-gallery’ (.gallery). These extensions create picture-perfect URLs that are shorter, sweeter and ones that even Grandma and Aunt Vickie can remember.
What’s more, these not-com URLs can be used to redirect to Facebook, Instagram and Flickr sites. That means no coding or website creation skills necessary. You can set up the domain redirect immediately after purchasing the domain. Sometimes these not-com URLs even redirect to already-established ‘dot-com’ (.com) or 'dot-net' (.net) websites.
In short, a ‘dot-photos’ or 'dot-pictures' URL can effectively mask the hideously long URL that nobody can remember. It’s clever digital branding for your online family photo album.
Click through these examples below for inspiration for your next digital photo collection:
There was more than just a turkey in the oven as the Colorado-based Morrison family was blessed with little baby Clara Bess on Thanksgiving morning 2014! The family has been documenting the parenthood journey ever since.
If you were a beautiful family living in the U.S. Virgin Islands with two lovely daughters and a cute, shaggy dog, wouldn’t you want your own domain to share photos (a.k.a. brag) about it? We are getting seasonal affective disorder just browsing through the Zucker family’s collection.
www.spencer.pictures*redirects to www.kimandspencer.net
Husband Spencer Fields has maintained the Fields' family website since 2014 with a goal of providing a place for family and friends to share pictures and stories with one another.
This couple has documented its journey from wedding to honeymoon to newborn baby. Awww.
www.thescottfamily.photos *redirects to thescottfamily.smugmug.com
The prolific Scott family has maintained a presence on SmugMug since 2006. And now, the family also has a family-friendly 'not-com' domain that redirects to its treasure trove of memories.
www.braverman.photos *redirects to www.flickr.com/photos/dbrave/
We just love this adorable family from Georgia -- but it's clear even this klan realizes that some of its adorableness got lost in all of the backslashes of its Flickr domain name.
www.powerful.pictures *redirects to www.instagram.com/tiggerlovesyou/
Eric Neitzel is the quite the traveling family man. Although he may love the effervescent Tigger of "Winnie the Pooh" fame, he's chosen a powerful 'dot-pictures' domain to help tell his child-like story.